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Coming to America — for health care

Posted by Richard on February 3, 2010

From Mark Perry:

CANADA'S NATIONAL POSTNewfoundland Premier Danny Williams will undergo heart surgery later this week in the United States. He is expected to be away from four to six weeks.
A decision to leave Canada for the surgery, especially if it is available here, raises questions about the Premier's confidence in Newfoundland's health care system.

MP: This raises the question: Where will U.S. politicians go for heart surgery if we ever adapt Canadian-style health care?

Thanks to Bob Wright.

Good question. There are other good questions, too. What about the average Canadian who can't afford to come to the U.S. for health care and simply has to wait his turn on the long waiting list? What about the average American if ObamaCare gets rammed through (they're still working feverishly to accomplish that) and we're all in the same boat as the Canadians? 

And why are the clowns in Congress and the White House intent on emulating the socialist health care systems of countries whose leaders flee those systems and pay dearly to get treated here instead?

UPDATE: Investor's Business Daily noted that the independently wealthy Williams couldn't get "world class" treatment in Canada, even if he paid for it himself, because the government controls even private care: 

That means long lines of rationing as well as lower-quality care. It's so bad that even the premier prefers to head to the States.

He's not alone. Other premiers, including Quebec's Robert Bourassa in 1990, have sought that care, as has Member of Parliament Belinda Stronach in 2007. According to the Fraser Institute, 41,000 Canadians, or 1% of the population, were referred by their own doctors for nonemergency medical care abroad in 2009, a rise of about 10% from a year earlier.

Thousands more don't even wait for a referral, leaving the country to seek treatment on their own. Clinics in U.S. cities like Buffalo, Seattle and Detroit do a booming business with Canadian medical tourists. Canadian newspapers are filled with U.S. doctors advertising their services.

For the wealthy Williams, U.S. health care paid for out of pocket is a viable option. Not so for Canada's poor. If the U.S. moves to a Canadian-style health care model, not even the rich will be able to run from the unpleasant side effects of a socialist system.

The same kinds of controls that mandate rationing and lower-quality care even for paying, private patients in Canada are built into the U.S. Senate and House health care take-over bills. The ones we simply have to stop.

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